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The U.S. Department of Transportation is seeking public comment to help finalize a new strategic plan that returns the focus of transportation decisions to the people who use the transportation systems and their communities.

arrow Download draft of strategic plan: Transportation for a New Generation (pdf 476 kb)

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"Transportation for a New Generation" is new strategic plan for USDOT

photo of people on trail

“Transportation for a New Generation” includes specific goals for

Fostering livable communities in across America

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation is seeking public comment to help finalize a new strategic plan that returns the focus of transportation decisions to the people who use the transportation systems and their communities.

The plan, Transportation for a New Generation, helps set the priorities of the department and offers a blueprint for providing the traveling public with safe, convenient, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices for the 21st century.

“In opening our strategic plan for the public comment, we are giving citizens the opportunity to directly influence the shape of upcoming transportation decisions,” said Secretary Ray LaHood. “We encourage all interested individuals to read the plan and share their insights with us.”

The draft plan was developed through a deliberative interagency process and will be available for several weeks to receive comments and critiques from the public. A copy of Transportation for a New Generation can be viewed and public comment can be received at www.dot.gov.

The draft plan notes that during the 20th century, the U.S. benefited from building highway and aviation networks that fueled unprecedented economic prosperity and individual mobility and connected the nation’s cities, towns, and regions to the rest of the world. However, in the 21st century, policies and individual investment decisions for highways, public transit, railroads, seaports, inland waterways and airports often lacked an outcome-driven approach and at times conflicted with each other and with important national priorities. Transportation for a New Generation restores the focus of transportation decisions to the people and their communities.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - “Transportation for a New Generation”

President Barack Obama supports a transformative U.S. transportation policy that improves public health and safety, fosters livable communities, ensures that transportation assets are maintained in a state of good repair, supports the Nation's long-term economic competiveness, and works to achieve environmental sustainability. The President also proposes that U.S. transportation policy be transparent and accountable to the American public, performance-based, focused on achieving strategic outcomes, and maximizing the value of public investments.

During the 20th century, the U.S. built highway and aviation networks that fueled unprecedented economic prosperity and individual mobility and connected our Nation’s cities, towns, and regions to the rest of the world. The U.S. has been well served by these highway and aviation networks, as well as by our railroads, pipelines, ports, waterways, and transit systems.
However, in the 21st century, the U.S. transportation system must begin to adapt to the changing social, environmental, and economic challenges our Nation faces. Our policies and individual investment decisions for highways, public transit, railroads, seaports, inland waterways, and airports often lack an outcome-driven approach and at times conflict with each other and with key national priorities. Federal transportation programs also face unprecedented fiscal challenges with current dedicated revenue sources no longer adequate to sustain current Federal spending levels.

This Administration believes that we must create a transportation system that addresses the new challenges before us and puts the needs of the American people and their communities first. The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Strategic Plan sets out key priorities that will transform our transportation infrastructure into a truly multimodal system that offers the traveling public and businesses safe, convenient, affordable, and environmentally sustainable transportation choices.

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) providing more than $48 billion in vital transportation funding to spur economic recovery while rebuilding our Nation’s network of roads, tunnels, bridges, transit, airports, and waterways. Included in the Recovery Act funding was an unprecedented $8 billion investment in an intercity high-speed passenger rail system.

President Obama is also committed to driving towards sustainable growth and quality jobs through his “Strategy for American Innovation.” DOT is conducting critical research across all modes of transportation, supporting data-driven decisionmaking on National priorities, including: building a leading physical infrastructure; supporting advanced vehicle technologies; and educating the next generation with 21st century knowledge and skills to foster a world-class workforce for the transportation sector.

SAFETY

Improving safety is DOT’s top priority. Secretary Ray LaHood has urged all DOT employees to reinforce our safety culture in our daily work and to encourage our domestic and international partners, our stakeholders and the public to redouble their efforts to reduce transportation-related fatalities and injuries. The Safety chapter of this Strategic Plan outlines the steps DOT will take to improve safety levels throughout the transportation system.

STATE OF GOOD REPAIR

Over the years, the U.S. has built one of the world’s most extensive and productive transportation systems, representing trillions of dollars of public and private investment. It is essential that we be good stewards and apply asset management principles proactively to maintain and modernize our critical infrastructure to maximize its productivity and performance and minimize full life cycle costs. Our State of Good Repair chapter describes the steps DOT will take to identify critical highway, bridge, transit, airport and railroad assets and improve their state of repair.

ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS

Achieving the maximum net economic benefit from our transportation investments is essential in this period of economic hardship and difficult budget choices at the Federal, State, and local levels. DOT is committed to fostering policies and investments, including investment in the transportation workforce of the future that will produce the greatest economic benefit for the broadest number of citizens and businesses and will lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth and prosperity. The Economic Competitiveness chapter outlines the steps DOT will take to achieve the greatest contribution of the transportation system to the United States’ economy.

LIVABLE COMMUNITIES

Fostering livable communities – places where transportation, housing and commercial development investments have been coordinated so that people have access to adequate, affordable and environmentally sustainable travel options – is a transformational policy shift for DOT. The President has made place-based policies like livable communities a key component of his domestic agenda and has challenged all Federal agencies to coordinate and innovate around this goal in an unprecedented way. To promote well-coordinated and sustainable development, DOT has formed an interagency partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Livable Communities chapter describes our strategies for increasing access to adequate, affordable, and environmentally sustainable travel choices.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

The Administration is committed to a comprehensive National energy and environmental policy that emphasizes reducing carbon, other harmful emissions, and the consumption of fossil fuels. This policy also emphasizes protecting and enhancing natural resources. To implement this policy, DOT will advance transportation investments that reduce energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions for passenger travel and freight movement, and foster the protection of critical watersheds and ecosystems. In addition to the sustainable development patterns associated with livable communities, DOT will also promote the substitution of carbon intensive travel on congested highways and airways for use of more energy efficient transportation systems, including rail, water, and pipelines where feasible. The Environmental Sustainability chapter outlines the steps DOT will take to move toward a more environmentally sustainable U.S. transportation system.

ORGANIZATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Secretary LaHood has declared that openness and fairness will be the top values that would mark his tenure at DOT. Openness means promoting transportation policies in an accountable and transparent way on behalf of all Americans who depend on our transportation system. Openness also means a collaborative and open door working environment with the dedicated staff at DOT. Fairness means promoting transportation policies that benefit all Americans, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. Fairness also applies to the DOT workplace where we will demonstrate our commitment to civil rights, equal employment opportunity, and affirmative employment through practices that ensure all voices are heard and all viewpoints respected. We believe that a dedicated and talented workforce is the most significant factor in our being able to transform America’s transportation infrastructure into a truly multimodal system that provides travelers and businesses with safe, secure, convenient, affordable, and environmentally sustainable transportation choices. Our Organizational Excellence chapter outlines the most significant steps we will take to make DOT the best place to work in the Federal government.

SUMMARY

DOT will use this Strategic Plan to develop and implement policies and programs that will transform our transportation infrastructure into a truly multimodal system that provides travelers and businesses with safe, convenient, affordable, and environmentally sustainable transportation choices. We look forward to working with the Congress and with our public and private sector stakeholders to create a transportation system that is unparalleled in its performance and in its contributions to the quality of life and economic well being of the United States.

 

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